Not sure what to look for when hiring a bookkeeper for your small business?
Or maybe you already have a bookkeeper, but you aren’t sure if they’re the right fit.
Either way, we can help you sort through this. Combined, our team at Foray Business Group has several decades of experience in the business and accounting industry, so we know what makes an excellent bookkeeper—or a terrible one!
Here are 9 signs to look for in a bookkeeper:
1. They’re responsible and meet deadlines.
You don’t want to hire someone who’s irresponsible to take care of your business books. Bookkeeping is a task that typically requires someone who is detail- and action-oriented.
If your bookkeeper is regularly missing deadlines, it might be sign that they’re either stressed and overworked or that they’re not a good fit for you.
2. They set expectations early.
A professional bookkeeper will talk with you early on about what you can expect from them and what they expect from you.
After all, there’s a hefty onboarding process that takes place when you hire a new bookkeeper. And you want to make sure you understand what they need from you to make that transition as smooth as possible.
3. They take the time to know you.
Your business is not like the next person’s. Your business is unique, and an excellent bookkeeper understands that.
That’s why they take the time to get to know you—your personality, your expectations, your needs, and your business’ financial situation.
4. They provide monthly statements.
This might seem like a given, but not every bookkeeper does this.
Professional bookkeepers will prepare at least three main statements: a profit and loss statement, a balance sheet, and a cash flow statement.
If your bookkeeper isn’t already sending you these monthly reports, ask them to start.
5. They meet with you regularly.
Communication is the key here. How often does your bookkeeper meet with you to go over your financial statements? Do they help you understand where your business is at financially?
If not, you may need to ask your current bookkeeper to do this. And if they can’t, consider looking for someone else.
6. They get excited when you succeed.
Maybe you don’t think this is necessary. But being a small business is hard, especially on the heels of a global pandemic!
As a small-business owner, you want someone handling your company's finances who feels like a part of your team. You want to work with someone who takes your success personally and is genuinely happy for you when you win.
7. They have experience and practical knowledge.
The sad reality is that anyone can suddenly decide to open a bookkeeping business—even if they have no experience whatsoever.
That’s not who you want to hire to take care of your bookkeeping. Before hiring a bookkeeper, ask them what experience they have. See if they've spent time in business, accounting, bookkeeping, or finance.
An excellent bookkeeper doesn't necessarily need an accounting degree, but they should certainly have the knowledge and experience to take care of your business’ needs.
8. They’re constantly learning.
Professional bookkeepers don’t rely on their past experience and knowledge alone. They keep learning and educating themselves so they can become better bookkeepers!
That might look like attending accounting webinars or conferences, taking online courses, or reading books. Ask your bookkeeper what they do to continually increase their knowledge in their field.
9. They have strong relationships with CPAs.
This isn’t absolutely necessary, but it’s an incredible benefit. A sign of an excellent bookkeeper is that they’re building a network of likeminded professionals, especially CPAs.
Come tax season, it’s a relief to be able to ask your bookkeeper to connect you with someone who can help you file your taxes. (As a business owner, you don’t want to do this by yourself!)
In need of an excellent bookkeeper for your business? Our team at Foray Business Group is here to help!
Schedule a free consultation to see if we’re a good fit for your business.